World of Horror preview: Monochrome Miskatonic
Prevent the Eldritch god from manifesting in your city as you face real destruction in this satisfying retro horror adventure.
When the promising Silent Hills was canceled, the horror gaming community took a big hit. This is not only the idea of Hideo Kojima, but will have the contribution of the Japanese genius of the horror manga Junji Ito. While it shouldn’t be, other developers are busy working on games that will largely borrow from Ito’s heritage in some very interesting ways. Developer Panstasz (real name Pavel Kozminski) has worked tirelessly on the adventures of World of Horror, one of the most exciting games of the year, and finally enters the early access phase on Steam.
World of Horror is a satisfying minimalist adventure that is a love letter for the classic early days of the Macintosh game. Everything is handmade and highly detailed by Kozminski, which resembles a perfect painting scene made in MS Paint. Everything comes in monochromatic colors, with several different color schemes to choose from, though you’ll only get a few different colors – green, olive, even red if that’s what you want. Cold white and clinical are the most effective in terms of generating tension and the color scheme that I end up adhering to in each game.
However, this visual is just one of the most unique aspects of World of Horror. The game is actually played unlike anything you have ever experienced before. Located in Japan in 1984, you act as one of five different protagonists, each with their own character, starting elements, strengths and weaknesses. While they all have unique backstories, their reasons for investigating “mysteries,” as they are called games, remain the same: The city is slowly influenced by the manifestations of one of the Eldritch Gods.
Yes, that’s what Lovecraft is talking about. To prevent the gods from reproducing and throwing the world into chaos, you must complete a series of five 12 game mysteries (20 when the game is officially released) to get the key you need to access the Lighthouse game and avoid the ancient gods . As much as possible Mysteries are randomly assigned every time you play, and you can choose the order in which you approach them. This leaves plenty of opportunity for replays after you’ve completed a series of cases, mainly because the mystery itself changes slightly each time you play it.
Each mystery revolves around something strange that happens in the city. You might hear about a ghost woman running around with scissors in high school, or taking on a task to investigate a strange ramen shop where people flock to and fro. As the investigation completes, there are also a series of creepy zombies, worshipers, stalkers, and perverts to catch you as well. Everything is very detailed and in many cases quite unpleasant, which guarantees that it will practically bother you. I really appreciate the attention to detail here, making sure there are plenty of weirdos in the game to try and stop me in some way.
When you try to solve a mystery, you must maintain your intelligence when you collect objects, perform rituals and solve puzzles related to the case you are facing. And when criminals come into town (which can be generated randomly), you can also fight. Turn-based battles find you using endurance (health points) and reason (mental strength) to complete each fight. Get to zero in one, and the game ends, unless you can use items or spells to return to the game. This can be a difficult matter, especially if you are lucky enough to find a very strong monster, but it is the job of the RNG in World of Horror. You just have to be lucky to get caught sometimes, which can make solving mysteries easier in some situations.
Of course, just because you can be lucky doesn’t mean you are be. World of Horror can be unforgiving, especially when first played. There are some complicated systems to memorize, difficult puzzles to solve, and “correct” ways to solve certain mysteries that you will not learn until you have failed. Fortunately, there are plenty of reasons to go back and try again, especially with the promise of additional content on the way.
World of Horror is an imaginative tribute to the age of gaming that has passed, when game 1-bits rule the world – and a mix of interesting systems I can’t wait to see continue to evolve when the full game debuts in late of this year. It is set to enter 20 different mysteries, mod support, and a number of additions that will help polish it further into a frightening and brilliant diamond.
If you’re looking for something a little different, but creepy, World of Horror should be your first stop both as an Early Access title and when the game’s debut is complete in the fourth quarter of 2020. Just try to sleep after meeting a terrifying woman. with scissors. You will need it
Powered by horror, rainbows, pixel fever, and video games, Brittany is a senior editor at Shacknews and lives with surrealism and ultraviolence. Follow him Twitter @MolotovCupcake and see the portfolio for more information. As an amazing shooter once said, go wild!